Guest Author - Letta Meinen
The only article I found interesting in my recent Golf For Women Magazine was how "Practice made Perfect" taken from a book “The Game Before the Game by coaches Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson. It relates to how many golfers hit the driving range and beat a bag of balls and expect that to help their golf game. They discuss different way to make this practice time benefit and lower your score.
The authors explain that there are three types of practice to make you a better player and lower your score. It includes warm-up, maintenance, and preparation practice and all should take part before you hit the course. In warm-up no matter what type of game you are playing either it’s with friends or a tournament it is important to warm-up your muscles and get your mind in tuned for the game.
In the maintenance practice is about tuning up your skills and keeping your swing performing efficiently. With preparation practice it is getting ready for certain types of shots or course you will be playing during the round. The authors suggest that during your practice on the range change clubs as if you are playing a certain hole. They also suggest using your imagination and create fun things to do on the range that will stimulate and relax you for your round of golf.
In the following article there are pictures where they suggest different things to do while playing a round. Many of these suggestions are on the golf course alone such as hitting two balls then change clubs to hit each ball from there onto the green. They also suggested playing a one person scramble by teeing two balls, take the best one and hit two balls from that site and on until you are on the green.
Another suggestion was to play a par three hole from 100 yards out by chipping, pitching over a bunker. They suggest that scores are mostly lowered by playing well from 100 yards in to the green. This all sounds like good advice but on our course where we are busy most of the time we cannot play alone and use it as practice time.
One suggestion that did make sense it to use body language, like if you are walking with your head down over a bad shot. They recommend walk with your head held high and stride on to the next shot. In our club most of our players use electric golf carts but many times we are told to use cart path only. So this tip may work well to give you a better attitude and keep your steps lively. You will be more relaxed and be able to make a great swing
One trip that we have tried on our Ladies day play but picking three clubs and you must use only those three clubs the whole 18 holes. It makes you stop and think and you have to adapt to each shot differently. Another suggestion is to play in silence as they say turn down the volume. I like this as we have many of our women players who are chatter boxes and you have to tone down your own inner ear to not let it bother you.
The final suggestion was at close range of how to sink that short putt. One suggestion is what I use don’t try to read too much into the break unless you have a big slope. Those three to four foot putts can be costly if you get nervous, grip your putter to tight or make a jabbing motion at the ball. It suggested one should take a shorter back swing and make a smooth stroke to the hole. Using your chest muscles or shoulders not your hands, arms or wrists is what will help you make a smooth putt and lower your score.
I have been working on my practice routine before each time I play. I try to get to the club an hour before my tee time. I go to the driving range and warm-up using my Speed Stik with exercises then swing the stick. I keep swinging slow at first then harder and harder until I feel the swing is grooved. I then check the degree of swing weight I used on those hard swings. I have been able to go from 70 – 85 and then I know my swing is working. I am ready to hit a few balls with the 8 iron, 6 iron, 7 Callaway Heavenwood then on to my driver. I may not use the full bag of balls but will use the rest another time. I then go to the putting and chipping area of our putting green and will practice chipping and pitching using the long grass around the green. I will take 5-6 balls after hitting those onto the green will putt out from wherever they landed. This routine has been helping me a great deal on our course it has helped me around the green and also with putting.
Have a good practice routine as it will give you a good attitude and keeps your score going lower which is what we all strive for.
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